How can cutting-edge new technologies be used in the classroom?
Sure, devices like Google Glass or a 3-D printer are cool.
But how can they be used to teach and to learn?
Eric Kunnen is the emerging technologies coordinator at Grand Valley State University.
"Trying to find that sweet spot there between teaching learning and technology is where we are focused and having access to the technology is one piece," Kunnen said.
Kunnen said that Google Glass could be useful in the classroom by providing hands free operations.
“Think in terms of a visual demonstration maybe in a science classroom, where you need both hands as the instructor,” Kunnen said. “Also the ability in wearing the glasses and having information on top of what you are seeing has a lot of potential as well.”
But where is the boundary in using technology for a good purpose, versus using it because it’s cool?
Kunnen said when figuring out when to use the technology, they start with trying to solve an instructional problem.
“How do we address a difficult concept that is very challenging to explain perhaps, or very difficult to visualize, and how do we apply technology to that as a solution?” Kunnen said.
An example he gave was difficulty in visualizing 3D protein molecules, but a 3D projection image could help solve that problem.
New technology are on display in Grand Valley’s Technology showcase, located in the Mary Idema Pew Library on campus.
“The concept really is to interact, learn, discover, and share how technology can transform teaching and learning at the university,’ Kunnen said.
*Listen to full interview above.